Scalable control technology for networked manufacturing

In robotics and complex automated systems, each machine has its own complete, so-called monolithic controller. The available computing power is rarely used in normal operation. However, if complex algorithms have to be calculated in order to optimize processes, today’s controllers are not powerful enough.

Scaling, i.e. adapting processing power to the algorithms to be calculated, is currently not possible. This prevents functions from being integrated into manufacturing systems with cyber-physical systems. For smartphones, solutions already exist that enable language recognition algorithms, which require a high processing capacity, to be calculated in a cloud instead of by the smartphone itself.

The goal of the research project “Industrielle CloudbASierte Steuerungsplattform für eine Produktion mit Cyber-Physischen Systemen”, in short pICASSO, is to develop a scalable control platform for cyber-physical systems in industrial manufacturing. The platform will provide processing power which is automatically scaled according to the complexity of the algorithms requiring calculation. The monolithic control technology is fragmented and relocated in the cloud, while still fulfilling the strict requirements set by the production process, such as realtime-capability, availability and reliability.

Project partners involved in pICASSO include companies such as Robert Bosch, Reis and Homag, as well as institutions such as the University of Stuttgart and the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Systems and Design Technology IPK.